The rate of loneliness has doubled recent years and loneliness is a serious issue with most people desiring strong bonds with others. Here are some habits to consider:
- Make a habit of nurturing others.Offer to take care of the neighbour’s children once a week; teach a class, volunteer, get a dog. Giving support to others helps create a feeling of connection. For happiness generally, it’s just as important to give support as to get support.
- Make a habit of connecting with other people
Show up at the weekly office coffee hour, join a book group, sign up for an exercise session, take a minute each morning to chat to a co-worker.
- Make a habit of getting better sleep.
One of the most common indicators of loneliness is broken sleep — taking a long time to fall asleep, waking frequently, and feeling sleepy during the day. Sleep deprivation, under any circumstances, brings down people’s moods, makes them more likely to get sick, and dampens their energy, so it’s important to tackle this issue.
- Make a habit of staying open.
Unfortunately — and this may seem counter-intuitive — loneliness itself can make people feel more negative, critical and judgemental. Lonely people, it turns out, are far less accepting of potential new friends than people who aren’t lonely. If you recognize that your loneliness may be affecting you in that way, you can take steps to counter it.
- Making a habit of asking yourself, “What’s missing in my life?”
If you’re feeling lonely, is it because you miss having a best friend, or you miss being part of a group, or you miss having a place to go where everyone is familiar, or you miss having a romantic partner, or you miss having the quiet presence of someone else hanging around the house with you? There are many kinds of loneliness. It may be painful to think about, but once you understand what you’re missing, it’s easier to see how to address it. Through habits or otherwise.